My thoughts The Judgment is an historical novel based on the life and reign of the biblical Solomon. It is very well written, descriptive and lyrical.
I have to admit to not knowing much of Solomon's story. I'm more familiar with his father, David's story, as I have always been fascinated by the story of David and Bathsheba. The author has done a wonderful job of telling the story (with some embellishment, I'm sure), taking the reader on a jury into the historical and biblical past. However, I have to admit to having a hard time with all the religious talk. My views on religion have changed dramatically in the last four years so the religious dedication, and at times, fervor the characters experience was a bit much for me. I had to keep reminding myself how important religion was, especially in historic times.
Niko definitely has a knack for storytelling and she even writes a fantastic battle/siege scene. The opening scene when the women and children flee to the tunnel was nail biting. Also, the plotting of Solomon's wife, Nicaule, and how easily Solomon is deceived, was an intriguing part of the story. Once again, a man makes his decisions from the wrong end of his body. Why does it still surprise me when this happens in a story? It really shouldn't.
I have not read Niko's Sarah Weston Chronicles yet, but upon reading The Judgment, I'm definitely adding them to my to-be-read list. I look forward to her future historical offerings as well.
About the book
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Medallion Press
Publication Length: 416 pages
Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh's beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriageh. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel.
Forty years later, Solomon's empire is on the verge of collapse. Power has made him arrogant, permissive, and blind to the scheming of his wife and one of his lieutenants to topple the united monarchy. As the king's faith falters and his people's morals collapse, enemies gather at the gates of Israel. A visit from a mysterious queen restores Solomon's perspective in time to save his soul—but it is too late to preserve his kingdom.
Someone who once was loyal to King Solomon has come back to claim the crown of Israel—and tear Solomon's empire asunder.
About the author
D.J. Niko is the pseudonym for Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer who has spent her entire adult life traveling the world.
As a former travel writer and zealous adventurer, she has visited remote spots on six continents, many of which have inspired her archaeological thriller series, The Sarah Weston Chronicles. She was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and now resides in Florida with her family.
"Like a sandstorm roaring out of the Judean Desert, The Riddle of Solomon rips readers out of the familiar world, dropping them breathless in a place where ancient kings still keep their secrets. D. J. Niko's storytelling carries the grit of desert dust and the seductive scent of incense on every page as Sarah Weston races with a madman to save the treasures that King Solomon left behind." - Mary Anna Evans, award-winning author of Artifacts and Wounded Earth
"Take a dash of Dan Brown, a sprinkle of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and a whole lot of originality, and you've got the recipe for D.J. Niko's latest novel, the second in the spellbinding Sarah Weston saga. For readers who like their adventures steeped in research, authenticity, and nonstop intrigue, The Riddle of Solomon is highly recommended!" - Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase and Cradle Lake
"Action, adventure, romance and historical mystery—who could ask for more? The Oracle is a great read." —James O. Born, award-winning author of Scent of Murder
"Although each book in the Weston series can be read as a stand-alone, there is clearly a story arc involving the series' two lead characters, one that enriches each book and makes the series more than just a collection of independent thrillers." —David Pitt, Booklist
"This wonderful action-adventure story has all the elements of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider and a little James Bond thrown in for good measure. This is exactly the kind of story I love, and I found it very hard to put down. The story moves between the fall of Delphi and a modern-day archeology thriller. Well researched, well written, with strong and believable characters." — LibraryThing